Virginia Safari Park/ Lynchburg Virginia

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I told you I was going up to Lynchburg over the weekend to see my son and his family.  What I didn’t know at the time was that they were planning to go to the Virginia Safari Park which is up the road and near the Natural Bridge.  This is a pretty nice area of Virginia with all the mountains and these two tourist attractions.

So it slowly dawned on me as we entered the park and I looked up the road that we would be mingling with all kinds of wild animals. I was sitting in the way back seat of the minivan.  Mom and dad were up front.  And the two little ones were in the middle.

The emu’s, camels, bison, bongos, zebras and wildebeests were all around the car looking at me (the sliding doors were open) and hoping I would give them something to eat.  I managed to move forward in between the two children in their little car seats with my camera and take some photos while I was slamming the doors if they got too close.

I wasn’t about to let them have one of the children for a snack.  I wasn’t worried too much about the blackbuck or the oryxes.  And the watusis horns were too wide to get through the door.  But the zebra were another story and the buffalo definitely were not coming near any of us.  I could see one of them a few cars forward sticking his head in the back of another minivan.

We started out into the park and a camel came right up and put his head inside the front window where my son Jeremy was holding a bucket of feed.  You can see him getting ready to make his move in one of these photos.  Then they would do a tag team drill where one of them would stand in front of the car so you couldn’t move and the other one would sneak around the side and put his head in the window while you were supposedly distracted by the first one.

I have to hand it to these guys.  They knew what they were doing.  And there were several park attendants around with these nasty sounding whips.  The crew would move off immediately when they heard that sound.  I didn’t see any of them actually being whipped.

But then I started thinking about how human beings are actually whipped in various places and how awful this sort of thing is for people or animals to endure.

So we spent an hour or so travelling through the park and meeting the animals.  Once things cleared out a bit things were more relaxed and we enjoyed communing with nature and the animal population.   Here are some photos of our visit.

I tried to name all of them but wouldn’t be surprised if I got some of them wrong.  Please let me know if you you see a missed ID especially where the deer are concerned.

8 thoughts on “Virginia Safari Park/ Lynchburg Virginia

  1. It looks like you had allot of fun. I wish I could have seen your face when they tried to come into the van! LOL! You took some great pictures. Thanks for sharing this.

    Love and Blessings,
    AngelBaby

  2. I love places like that…well I love animals in nature period…I guess these “city-made safari parks” are the closest I can get to animals like these without going to Africa.

    I really like what you said David about the whips and animals and humans, etc. That is unfortunately the thing, most people do not think about how many animals are treated and many people too forget to empathize with animals as if they had no feelings or weren’t able to feel any pain. That is one huge part I love about the world changing today, is that more and more people are seeing that. Once we thought punishing and killing humans was normal, today most see otherwise and I know when it comes to animals we are moving in that direction too.

    Evitas last blog post..A Possible Cure for Autism in Children – Their Diet

  3. Hi,
    Its awesome to see that you had a great time. I actually worked at the Virginia Safari Park for about a year. LOVED every second! It is a really great idea and allows people to really get to interact with these beautiful animals. I just wanted to let you kow a couple things: No animals are whipped … as you noted they are scared of the sound of the whips and it is used as a “just in case” protection for the workers for animals like the male ostriches that can kill you very easily and quickly. Also some corrections on your tagging (since you requested it) The 4th picture (first one of a deer) is actually a spotted fallow deer, the next one is actually a chocolate fallow deer, the next picture is a white rhea, and the 4th til last is a female elk. Again I am so glad you had a good time and I hope you return for more fun when your kid is older.

  4. We went to the Wild Safari Park today as part of a weekend getaway from our home in eastern Virginia. I thought it would be fun, but not soooooo fun. We drove through twice and spent four hours there. We were filthy and slobby, but it was worth every minute, dollar and pellet. We are very animal friendly people and have lots of interactions with all types of animals, but this was fantastic. I agree with the other reply about the animals not being hurt with whips. The sound scares them and them being snapped by their feet makes them move. Same with horses. Plus, these animals can be destructive and dangerous. My family are nature lovers and would never support anything that would mistreat animals. This is definately NOT one of those places. These animals are very fortuneate to have such a wonderful home. What a beautiful area. The staff were also very professional and knowledgeable. This is not a second-hand facility. I can’t wait to go again. I’m glad you had fun too. I’ve read many wonderful reviews, but nothing could put into words the experience you actually have there. I would recommend this to anyone.

  5. Cool Lisa. I’m happy you had a great time and commented here about it. It’s a really nice place. Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Show on CBS! talks about the ostrich from time to time and its ability to kill a person. I had never heard about that until going to this place. That’s a very good reason to have whips around although they don’t use them on the animals as you note. I wouldn’t let my child work here if it was too dangerous and I doubt anyone else would. But who knew a bird could be so dangerous?

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